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Building a Luxury Brand

Have you heard of Better Homes and Gardens?  Probably.  What do you remember it as?  The old magazine your grandma used to read…or do you now know it as a next generation real estate brand?

 Sherry  Chris, the President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens, a speaker at Inman Connect NY asks, “How do you take a brand that is well loved, and reinvent it?”

Inman ConnectWell, for brand longevity, Better Home and Gardens wanted their brand to appeal to the echo-boomers (18-34 year olds), the ones that will be driving the economy in the next 30 years.  Since this is the next generation of buyers, sellers and agents, they want to connect and reach out to the next generation of the industry.

“We walked the walk” – Sherry Chris

The next generation started identifying with them.  They have the proof that the brand that started in 1927 with our grandmothers and is now a brand today.

How do you take what a brand does very well and translate it into what a brand doesn’t do very well…but can?

  1. Identity.
  2. Service.
  3. Expectations.

Can this brand scale itself into the luxury phase?

They started out by asking who’s reading the magazine and who identifies with it.  Well, people reading the magazine are high-income earners so identity is covered.  Secondly, they had to separate out how the consumer was serviced so it’s truly luxurious.  Also, in order to manage expectations, they asked the network what they wanted instead of creating it in a vacuum.

Are there others already in your market?  Well, there’s room for everyone if you do it right.

When you create a sub-brand, you can’t completely differentiate yourself from your original brand, nor should you want to.

Before they dove into creating their luxury brand, they looked around in the luxury space to get the true look and feel that would complement them.  It has now been five months, and it’s going well…Better Homes and Gardens were worried that the audience appeal would be mainly to women, however, they have received a lot of male uptake.  The 1927 brand that appealed to your grandmother, is now appealing to the next generation.  Now that’s brand longevity and success.



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